Marasco&Nesselbush personal injury lawyers

Rhode Island Texting and Driving Accident Lawyer

Texting while driving is an especially dangerous form of distracted driving that is illegal in Rhode Island. However, this has not prevented many drivers from engaging in this practice and consequently causing catastrophic car accidents. A Rhode Island texting and driving accident lawyer from Marasco & Nesselbush can help hold such drivers accountable.


Awarded to a client who sustained serious injuries in a rollover crash caused by a distracted driver.


Recovered for the estate of a woman who passed as a result of surgical negligence.


Recovered for a client who sustained a traumatic brain injury in a car crash.


Every driver on Rhode Island roadways owes other drivers a duty of care, a legal obligation that establishes liability for drivers whose actions results in injury to others. This duty of care obligation includes giving undivided attention to the road. Drivers who text while driving place themselves and all other drivers at risk of severe or fatal injuries.

Unfortunately, texting and driving car accidents have become common in Rhode Island. The dedicated car accident attorneys at Marasco & Nesselbush are determined to hold these drivers accountable and help victims recover the maximum compensation available.

Why is texting and driving dangerous?

Texting requires drivers to take their eyes off the road and reduces cognitive awareness. It is akin to driving with your eyes closed. Without question, it is among the most alarming forms of distracted driving.

According to the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, sending or reading a text takes approximately five seconds. While this may not seem like a significant amount of time, five seconds is long enough to drive the length of a football field when driving 55 miles per hour.

The Department of Transportation has also found that people who text and drive are more than 23 times as likely to be involved in a crash as drivers who are not distracted.

Drivers ages 16 to 24 are more likely than other drivers to text and drive. This group is already high-risk due to young drivers’ lack of experience and their heightened propensity to take risks. The addition of texting while driving by this group is a dangerous combination.

How many car accidents are caused by texting and driving each year in Rhode Island?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is unable to provide state estimates of the number of accidents caused by texting and driving due to the lack of reliable means to gather this information.

Investigators often must rely on the accounts of those involved in an accident to determine the cause, and culpable parties may omit this information. As a result, even when estimates are provided, the number of accidents caused by texting while driving is likely severely underreported.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) also does not offer statewide estimates but does provide national statistics on its website. According to data from the RIDOT website,, an estimated 2,841 people lost their lives from distracted driving accidents in 2018 alone, and approximately 400,000 more were injured.

Is it illegal to text and drive in Rhode Island?

Texting while driving is illegal in Rhode Island. According to Rhode Island’s hands-free law, no electronic mobile device may be used without hands-free technology, and minors are prohibited from using mobile devices at all.

The law prohibits all drivers from physically holding a cell phone while driving. Drivers also may not use headphones or earbuds that cover both ears. If an officer observes violations of Rhode Island’s hands-free law, a $100 fine may be imposed. This fine may be waived if the offender provides proof of the purchase of hands-free technology.

What injuries can result from a texting and driving accident?

Texting while driving may cause accidents to occur at high speeds. Such drivers may fail to stop at traffic lights or stop signs, swerve into oncoming lanes, or rear-end slower vehicles. A texting driver may lose control of a vehicle, cross a median, and hit someone head-on. They may fail to see vulnerable roadway users — including pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists — until it is too late.

These types of accidents often lead to catastrophic injuries, such as the following:

a woman texting and driving

What damages can I pursue if I’m the victim of a texting and driving accident?

A Rhode Island personal injury lawyer may be able to help you recover substantial compensation after you have been injured by a driver who was texting.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the verifiable monetary losses that stem from the accident. These damages can generally be divided into three categories: lost wages, medical expenses, and property damage.

Lost Wages

Lost wages include the following:

  • Missed workdays
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Missed business opportunities
  • Lost work benefits
  • The value of domestic services

Future earnings are determined based on the length of time you are expected to remain unable to work because of your injuries. If you are left with permanent disabilities, your previous earning capacity will be compared to your future earning capacity to determine potential lost wage damages. Your expected lifespan and any disability benefits you receive will also factor into the calculations for lost wage damages.

Medical Expenses

Medical expenses include all costs related to your health care, including the following:

  • Emergency room visits
  • Hospital stay
  • Surgery
  • Doctor visits
  • Home health
  • Personal care
  • Travel to medical providers
  • Rehabilitation
  • Assistive devices
  • Projected future medical costs

Catastrophic injuries often result in lifelong disabilities that require ongoing care. When determining case values, our attorneys consult with leading experts, including financial planners, economists, and life care planners, to accurately project lifetime costs and ensure sufficient compensation is recovered.

Property Damage

Property damages include the vehicle as well as any personal belongings that were damaged or destroyed as a result of the crash.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are the subjective damages that cannot be measured in dollars. These damages are also known as pain and suffering damages and may include such losses as:

  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of society
  • Loss of consortium by a spouse
  • Loss of bodily functions
  • Disfigurement

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages in Rhode Island are awarded in rare cases when the injurious conduct by the defendant is intentional or blatantly negligent. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish a defendant and deter others from similar conduct.

Can I recover damages if my loved one was killed in a texting and driving accident?

An executor or qualifying administrator of the estate of the deceased may file a claim on behalf of the estate for the family’s losses that stem from the death. This is known as a wrongful death claim.

The proceeds are divided between the surviving spouse and children or, in the absence of a spouse or children, the next of kin. The administrator is entitled to pursue economic, non-economic, and punitive damages on behalf of the family, including the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Grief
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of comfort
  • Loss of parental guidance
  • Loss of domestic services
  • Lifetime loss of income of the deceased
  • Lost inheritance
  • Funeral and burial expenses

The administrator may also pursue a survival claim on behalf of the estate of the deceased. Proceeds from a survival claim will also be distributed to the family. A survival claim pursues the damages that would have been pursuable by the deceased had they survived. These include the following:

  • Pain and suffering of the deceased
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Punitive damages

Establishing Liability in a Texting and Driving Accident

Although liability may seem obvious, other parties may be liable in some cases. The opposing party’s insurance company may try to blame you for the accident or deny the driver was texting and driving. An experienced texting and driving accident lawyer can obtain phone records, arrange eyewitness testimony, and consult with accident reconstruction experts to establish liability.

What if I was partly at fault in a texting and driving accident?

Under Rhode Island’s comparative negligence law, you can still recover compensation if you share blame for the accident, but your compensation will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault. For example, if your damages are $100,000 and you are 20 percent at fault, you can recover $80,000.

However, you should never admit fault or accept an early finding of fault. Our attorneys will perform a detailed car accident investigation and make that determination ourselves.

In a recent case, we successfully refuted law enforcement’s finding of fault in a fatal pedestrian accident.

After speaking with eyewitnesses and retaining a specialist in biomechanics and biodynamics of human injury in vehicular accidents, we were able to reverse the finding of fault in the initial police report and demonstrate that the driver’s negligence caused the accident.

As a result, we recovered $2.5 million for the grieving family. This would not have been possible if the family had not questioned the initial findings and contacted us for help.

a man texting and driving

How can the texting and driving lawyers at Marasco & Nesselbush help me?

When you or your loved one has been severely injured by a careless driver who was texting, the last thing you need is an insurance company pressuring you to accept a lowball settlement or sign away your legal rights to collect compensation. However, this scenario is all too common.

Insurance companies have several unfair advantages over accident victims, including the following:

  • Substantial experience handling accident cases
  • Access to expensive lawyers
  • A lack of emotional involvement in the case

The car accident attorneys at Marasco & Nesselbush stand up to insurance companies on behalf of clients and fight vigorously for maximized compensation. We have witnessed firsthand the pain and suffering experienced by injured individuals and their families, and we are passionate about helping them recover to the fullest extent possible.

While no amount of money can restore health or replace a loved one, it can relieve significant financial burdens brought on by the accident, provide financial security, and restore a sense of justice.

When should I contact a texting and driving accident attorney?

You should contact an experienced texting and driving accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. This will ensure your attorney has access to evidence and eyewitnesses before important evidence degrades or is forgotten.

It also provides your attorney with sufficient time to investigate and build your case ahead of the Rhode Island statute of limitations, which is three years for most car accident cases.

How much does a Rhode Island car accident attorney cost?

Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing upfront, nor will you ever owe us anything unless and until we recover compensation on your behalf.


At that time, we will collect a pre-established percentage of your recovery.

Why should I choose Marasco & Nesselbush for my texting and driving accident case?

The dedicated and compassionate attorneys at Marasco & Nesselbush are laser-focused on getting maximum results for our clients. Since our establishment in 1999, we have developed a team of passionate and skilled attorneys who fight for the maximum recovery our clients deserve.

Together, we have recovered more than $100 million for our deserving clients, including the following:

  • $6.2 million for a client injured in a rollover crash caused by a distracted driver
  • $1.025 million pre-trial award for a brain injury survivor who was struck by a car as a pedestrian
  • $1.4 million won for a family whose son passed away due to a brain injury sustained in a high-speed car accident

Our law firm was built on the values of hard work, integrity, and skill with a commitment to serving our clients with compassion, respect, and kindness. Our peers have recognized our commitment to our clients, resulting in honors such as:

  • Super Lawyers
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Best Law Firms by U.S. News & World Report

We also have a five-star rating on Google and regularly receive high praise from our clients. Here’s a recent testimonial from a satisfied client:

“As a first-time client of Marasco & Nesselbush LLP, I was extremely impressed with this firm. Both my attorney and his paralegal were professional, courteous, and caring. They were easy to talk with and always on the ball. A settlement was expedited in a more than timely manner, and I was very satisfied with the outcome. I would highly recommend this firm to both my friends and family.” — Benny Bergantino

If you have been injured in a texting and driving car accident, contact us today for a free consultation.

Amanda C.
Amanda C.
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I’ve felt comfortable andhave built trust with them. They work hard and it shows. I am super thankful to have worked with them.
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Susan B.
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I love this law firm! My lawyer was compassionate, kind and understanding during a very difficult time.
Kimberly M.
Kimberly M.
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They work very hard on your behalf and will always return emails and phone calls. More than that, they will regularly reach out to give you updates on your case or to check in and see how you are doing. On a scale of 1 - 10: if I could give you 10+ I would! They have been wonderful!!
Tev I.
Tev I.
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Not many were willing to take this unique case on, but M&N and my attorney has earned my respect and gratitude for their efforts. Thank you, again!